KCP&L Clean Charge Network News

Read the latest news from the electric vehicle (EV) network and community.

Interest in Electric Cars Increases in Kansas City — and Nationwide

Pick up a newspaper or look around online, and you’re more likely than ever to read a feature about electric vehicles. People are talking — and buying.

A recent Wall Street Journal article predicts “mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming, and much sooner than most people realize.” The story points to big leaps in battery technology, more affordable options and increased charging infrastructure as drivers of change. 

A recent ClimateWire article spotlights Kansas City as an EV mecca, and the KCP&L Clean Charge Network as jump-starting the industry. The story explains, “No other place has decided to go from so few charging stations and EVs to so many as quickly as Kansas City.”

And it’s working. Since deployment of the network began in January 2015, the metropolitan area has experienced a more than 400 percent increase in EV charging sessions, number of EV drivers and electrical usage for EV charging. Kansas City is now second in the nation for year-over-year EV growth.

It’s progress worth celebrating — and Drive Electric Week is the perfect opportunity to do so. Held this year from September 10-18, this nationwide event is intended to heighten awareness of the widespread availability of electric vehicles and communicate the benefits of driving electric.

The Clean Charge Network is kicking off the week on September 11 with a street takeover in the Power & Light District, which you can register to attend here. We’re also planning several workplace test-drive events. (A recent study showed employees are 20 times more likely to buy an EV when they can charge at work.)

It’s all in support of our goal to achieve 1,000 electric vehicle ride-and-drives in the Kansas City metro during Drive Electric Week. 

The EV driver community can help! Simply show off your electric vehicle as much as possible from September 10-18 — handle the office carpool or take your neighbor to coffee. Track how many people you’ve given a ride to (or the lucky few you let drive) and share your tally with us at jeffrey.beeson@kcpl.com.

Meet an EV Driver: Cary Budach

After spending a hot summer behind the wheel of a SUV with a broken air conditioner, Cary Budach knew it was time for a change. His first priority was economy for his daily commute, so he researched online and did the math on costs to drive for several internal combustion engine options.

But when he came upon a used Ford Focus Electric, he felt compelled to take it for a test drive. “I knew after the first mile I was hooked,” he said. “And considering the price was very reasonable and the car was in perfect shape, it was easy to tell the sales associate ‘sold.’” 

He was even more certain after a few months of driving electric. “No more exhaust fumes, almost zero in upkeep, a very sporty feel, great creature comfort items, and nearly silent operation,” he said. He has since added another electric vehicle to his garage. 

While Cary had done his research on cars, he didn’t explore public charging options until after his purchase. He was pleasantly surprised. “Turns out KC is a very forward-thinking community,” he said. “I felt like the Clean Charge Network was being built just for me and my newly acquired EV.”

He uses the network on a daily basis, at work and while running errands. Hosts of charging stations are first on his list when it comes to choosing where to shop. He also charges at home from his solar panels — providing for emission-free transportation.

Cary appreciates living in a hot spot for driving electric. “With the huge infrastructure already in place here, range anxiety is not a factor. Work, school, shopping, entertainment, sports — they’re all outfitted with charging stations. I don’t have to add another stop for gas; I’ve already filled up while picking out avocados at the grocer.”

Interested in being profiled for our next issue? Reach out to us at jeffrey.beeson@kcpl.com.

EV Events and Activities

Whether you already drive an EV or are considering making the transition to electric, look out for these upcoming EV-related events:

KCP&L Clean Charge Network Drive Electric Week Kickoff
Join the KCP&L Clean Charge Network as we celebrate Drive Electric Week by taking over a street in the Power & Light District. On September 11 from Noon to 4 p.m., come to corner of Main and Truman in Kansas City. Meet electric car owners and check out their vehicles, take a test drive and enter to win Royals tickets or a Boulevard Tasting Room Experience. Find more information about the event here.

Prairie Village Drive Electric Week Event
Another Drive Electric Week event is scheduled for September 14 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 6641 Mission Road in Prairie Village. Check out a variety of electric vehicles, talk to EV drivers and learn more about the transition from gas to electric cars. Find more information about the event here.

We’re always looking for places to spread the word about EVs. Have a suggestion for where we might go next? Let us know

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